From both a physical and mental wellbeing point of view, there’s nothing quite like the benefits of a long walk somewhere. Yes, properly long walks can often be an emotional rollercoaster at times but the good they can do us undoubtedly outweighs the bad. To help inspire your next big hiking adventure, we’ve compiled some reading material for you to look at. These works are, as far as we’re concerned, easily some of the best walking books around.
There’s a real mixture of well-known classics and lesser known gems here; something, in other words, for everyone. If the weather forecast is looking especially grim this weekend, why not get comfy on the sofa with one of these books instead? Who knows? They might just light the fuse on your plans for another epic walk in the outdoors. Read the words. Get inspired.
‘Americana’ by Luke Healy
One of our favourite books about walking in recent times has been ‘Americana (And the Act of Getting Over It)’ by Luke Healy. More of an autobiographical comic than a regular book, ‘Americana’ is the warts and all tale of Luke’s journey on the Pacific Crest Trail.
The illustrations in it are excellent and there’s an authentic sense, sketched across every page, of the very real highs and lows of undertaking such a gruelling and, at times, painful walk. The Pacific Crest Trail runs for 2660 miles between California’s border with Mexico and Washington’s border with Canada. If you’re looking for some inspiration to head out and walk it, look no further.
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‘A Walk In The Woods’ by Bill Bryson
‘A Walk In The Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail’ by the bestselling travel writer Bill Bryson is a classic of the walking book genre. Published in 1998, it documents Bill and his friend “Stephen Katz” (not his real name) attempt to walk the legendary Appalachian Trail.
The Appalachian Trail stretches for an astonishing 2,200 miles across several states, between Georgia and Maine, in the Eastern United States. It’s arguably the most famous long-distance walking challenge on the planet. Not much of a long-distance walker himself, the real joy of Bill’s book comes from the fish out of water humour that spills out from every page.
That’s not to say it’s all a big joke however. The book is interspersed with serious discussions around the trail’s history, shining a light on some of its enviromental and sociological concerns.
Starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson, the film version of ‘A Walk In The Woods’ was released in 2015 and took $36 million at the box office.